Wherein Brenda keeps you up to date on her exciting life in April of the year of Our Lord and Lady 2001.

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May 7 - Full moon and good news
M ay 8 - Teresa's new digs
May 9 - More old classmates get in touch
May 10 - My long lost sister and a choir concert
May 11 - Beth's home and John's an author
May 12 - Topsoil... again and Bill's home
May 13 - Happy Mother's Day
Sunday, May 13, 2001

Happy Mother's Day.  I woke up to flowers and a card from Bill.  I took a long, leisurely bath and read the paper and drank a couple of cups of Barry's Gold Irish breakfast tea that Bill brought back from Dublin (and stirred it with a lovely new spoon with the Irish flag on it.)  I worked on the web site and fiddled around until noon.  Bethany surprised me with more flowers, so I added them to the arrangement from Bill and they fit in just beautifully.  Feeling a little peckish, I opened the the refrigerator to find a surprise sushi lunch from Beth.  My favorite food!  And then Kate arrived with a delightful card and... a bath spa!

So I have been absolutely lazy and decadent all day.  Wonderful!!

I tried to reach my mother, but all I could get was her roommate Helen's answering machine.  She at least got the flowers I sent and knows that I was thinking about her.

Spent the major part of the afternoon and evening in counseling with good friends in a tough situation.  All is going to be well.  The major thing I've always taught is that good resolutions are possible if love is the first step, if love is at root of the solution... to any problem.

I thawed out the World's Best Lasagna for dinner, watched In Search of Bobby Fisher, and talked to my good friend Nate Bucklin on the phone.  An all around enjoyable evening.  A very good Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 12, 2001

Up early to head down to the Oak Spring property.  I called L. Hermes ahead to get the check to pay for the top soil and met him at his house.  Poor fellow, met me at the door with a wounded mourning dove one of his cats caught for breakfast.  There was no way the little things was going to survive, so he had to put it out of its misery.  What a lousy way to start his day.

No one was at the property when I got there, so I had a peaceful walk about the place.  The flowers I planted by the tool shed are up, and we'll have gladiolas soon.  And the wild flowers that were strewn behind the circle are blooming with poppies and seven o'clocks and something purple that I don't recognize.  The poison ivy's back, too.  Time to invest in a drum of Round Up.  Bear showed up a little before 8 am and the truck of top soil was right behind him.  We got out the riding mower and the new cart and proceeded to start loading, dumping, and spreading the dirt. First we had to swipe some bricks off the eastern side of the wall to raise the north western side of the wall.  Then he shoveled and dumped, and I spread the dirt and tried to level it.

L. Hermes and his new roommate Casey arrived around 10 am and the dirt started coming faster than I could spread it out, but we were really getting worried that it wouldn't be enough.  It was... just barely.  And then Casey had a stroke of engineering genius.  He took a long board and nailed a cross tie to the middle  and a yoke board to the far end.  Then he and Bear dragged it around and around the circle, scraping up a pocket of dirt from the high spots and depositing them in the low spots.  It worked like a charm, and the circle is perfectly level.  At LAST!

Had to leave at noon to go get ready for the new class starting at Oak Spring, but  the sod was supposed to be delivered around 1 pm.  Gwyddion was arriving soon to supervise, so I had no worries.  Around 3 pm I get a call from him... the sod has not arrived.  So I started calling around to locate the correct Pike's Nursery and finally found the right one.  The sod was supposed to have been delivered yesterday, and L. Hermes had called them earlier today to check on it, and they assured him it would be here by 1 pm.  Now the manager claimed it wasn't supposed to be delivered until NEXT Saturday.  Well, I made a real fuss.  Next Saturday, most of the crew of folks who were to lay the sod would not be available.  We have a wedding that's supposed to take place at Midsummer, and that just won't be enough time for that sod to be rooted enough to walk on.  Consequently, Pike's is bringing the sod on Wednesday... the sod AND a crew to lay it.  Harumph!

I was so worn out when I got home, kissed Bill (back from Dublin) and  went straight to bed at 8 pm and slept until 4:30 am when my aching back woke me up.

Friday, May 11, 2001

Bethany's all moved back in from college.  What a lot of stuff to fit back in my sewing room.  (Yeah, I know... it's her bedroom, but it's been my sewing room all this year.)  It'll be even more crowded when Meri gets here in a couple of weeks.  Beth's still got her fish, Jack the Ripper, so we have to really keep an eye on the cat or we'll be calling that fish Sushi.

The cleaning service got to tackle my place after three weeks.  That's just too long for this house.  But it looks so nice now.

Bill comes home from Dublin tomorrow, and I've got to turn in and rest up for tomorrow.  We thought the sod was going to have to wait a week, but it's all coming tomorrow after all.  Lots of dirt to move, lots of sod to lay, lots of class to teach, lots of husband to hug.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

Oh, and a hearty congratulations to my writing buddy John Adcox who, after three years, finish his first novel today.  The Widening Gyre is a modern Arthurian fantasy set in the deep South.  It's probably going to get carved up into a trilogy.  I'm so proud of him, I could dance.

Thursday, May 10, 2001

Today is my sister's birthday.  We haven't spoken in twenty years.  Debbie is somewhere on the Island, but I don't even know her married name so I couldn't look her up if I want to when I'm back in Oak Harbor in August.  I have all these wonderful lovely women in my life who fill that sister niche, and I envy folks like Aunt Marylou, who had such a strong relationship with her sister.  Debbie and I were really close until puberty whacked her upside the head.  She took a nose dive into a foul mood when my parents divorced, and she never managed to get over it. Poor thing.  She held our whole family emotionally hostage for so many years until she managed to piss all of us off at the same time.  So she turned on her heel and divorced us.  Mom said she contacted her a couple of times last year, emotionally wrenching phone conversations that eviscerated her in guilt slam fests.  For what purpose?  I don't know.  Such a shame, and such a waste of time and passion.

Got to attend the last high school choir concert.  Aaron graduates in just a few days, and I'll only get to go to the Christmas concerts.  It won't be the same without one of my kiddies in the choir.  They're such fine singers.  It was good to see Aaron and his girl friend Crystal afterwards.  She's such a darling girl.  I didn't know that she is a junior, though.  Here and I thought they were going off to different colleges in the fall.  Aaron is going to college, and Crystal is still here.  Well, that settles it then.... I can go to the choir concerts to hear Crystal.

Wednesday, May 9, 2001

I got e-mails today from Mark Herzog, John Moors, and Terry Morgan, three of my classmates from Oak Harbor High School Class of '71.  John and I have been e-mailing for some time now.  He was one of the first of my classmates to contact me, and though life's had some ups and downs for him, he's found a great love and doing well. Mark used to be my neighbor in Penn's Cove (his mom still lives there.)  He's married with two young daughters and living in Chicago now.  He had some very encouraging words about the 20th reunion, and eased some of my anxiety about going back to a room full of strangers.

Terry was my very first boyfriend in the second grade.  We used to meet out at the monkey bars and hold hands.  I remember he gave me a ring from a Cracker Jack box and kissed me.  My mom made me give it back and tell him I was too young to have a boyfriend, but we traded pictures and kept it our little secret.  I sure missed him when we transferred to Imperial Beach, CA.  When I moved back to Oak Harbor in the 7th grade, Terry was still there, but he'd sure grown.  Long and tall, serious musician, he played the guitar in the Jazz Band and percussion in the symphony band.

Well, he's really worked with music. A graduate degree in African American Studies, (History of Jazz & African Art) and a masters in Systematic
Musicology (the scientific approach to music).  Then he joined up with three partners and formed a company called Modern Productions, one of the top ground breaking independent music groups in the US producing "alternative music" music as it is now called.  Back in 79 it was punk rock and new wave. Some of the highlights of that era were The Police, devo, Squeeze, The Specials, Muddy Waters, Captain Beefheart, PIL, The Plasmatics, Iggy Pop and tons more. Terry went on to become the talent buyer for the Bumbershoot Festival for a while, and booked shows at the Paramount Theater.

He eventually took over the company and changed the name to Modern Enterprises, promoting concerts and festivals in the Pacific Northwest. For a while he was managing bands: The Posies, The Young Fresh Fellows, The Walkabouts, Sky Cries Mary... and for a while he was the US rep. for David Thomas from the group PERE UBU, and traveled in Europe as a assistant tour manager for King Sunny Ade.

He still plays bass for fun or studio work, but most people now know him as a producer. He worked most of last year with Cirque du Soliel, one of the most magical events in the world.  Terry's been married for 4 years.  He and his wife and business partner Judy have three cats and spend all of their free
time gardening and collecting. They live just outside Seattle in Lake Forest Park.  I'm sure hoping he makes it to the reunion.  It sounds like Terry has had a full and satisfying three decades.  I'd like to meet the man who used to swing on the monkey bars with me.

Mom called in the afternoon, and I got to have a nice catch up conversation with her.  At least I have an address where I can send her flowers for Mother's Day.  She's house-sitting for a friend while she looks for a place of her own.  I'm sure hoping she finds one.  Mom's a little lost without a place where she can organize the cupboards to her own liking.  I'm the same way.

Tuesday, May 8, 2001

Ordered more topsoil for that LAST, I swear, the very LAST spreading of dirt to level the circle.  It will come very early this Saturday.  Hopefully L. Hermes can get the sod there in the afternoon and we'll take care of this job in one swell foop.  It's going to be a long one for me, as we're meeting with the new folks for Class 0.  I'm just supervising this time, which will be good.  There are plenty of competent folks, and they are more than capable of taking these reins.

I drove to Teresa and George's new house for band practice.  WOW!  What a great place.  It's huge!  I mean HUGE!  They're still in the renovation period, but it's going to be fabulous when they get done.  We spent the early part of the evening just listening to the dump down of the CD and making notes.  Not all that many, but I'm going to get down on my hands and knees and beg Greg to let me re-cut the lead vocal on Boys Want Sex in the Morning.  I was SO sick the day we recorded it.  He was able to compensate for my not having breath on Spring Strathspey, but Boys just sounds awful.  I'm all stuffed up, not support, phlegmy, flat... just awful.  It's painful for me to listen to it, and I'm not going to go through that with another song.  This happened to me when Bill and I recorded All Soul's Night on our tape Owling at the Moon.  My voice cracked and I hated the way it sounded, but I let people talk me out of redoing it for time's sake.  I've never been able to listen to that song on that tape since.

We only got a little actual practice time in before the clock struck 12 and we all turned into field mice.  I still had an hour to drive home.  Loooonnnggg day.

Monday, May 7, 2001

Had lovely e-mail messages from Talis Kimberly.  I made rose pouchong tea and enjoyed the news.  Then wooden spoons came in the snail mail from Persis Thorndyke.  I will need to reimburse her for them, but it was sweet of her to send them to me anyway.  Fun things.  Gosh, these adopted kids of mine are delightful. It's hard to explain the relationships to people.  The best I can do it to say it feels right.  It seems worthwhile.  I love it.

 Full moon at L. Dev's.  I'm just not used to celebrating those there now.  I almost spaced it thinking that it was still just down the street. 

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